To support booksellers during the coronavirus outbreak, HarperCollins has donated $50,000 to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) and donated a full-page Wall Street Journal ad to the American Booksellers Association for its #SupportLocalNow campaign, which published on Friday, March 20.
In addition to these contributions, HarperCollins President of Sales Josh Marwell urged independent bookstores to connect with their sales reps or credit reps for specific ways the publisher can help. “These are unprecedented times,” Marwell said, “and we all have to step up and do what is needed.”
To continue its ongoing support, HarperCollins is encouraging its authors to support independent bookstores through social media and to help facilitate virtual events at bookstores, especially where an author has been scheduled to appear. The publisher is also providing assets that bookstores can use on their websites and social media channels, which will be distributed by reps; supporting and promoting services like IndieCommerce, Bookshop, Direct to Home fulfillment, and Libro.fm; and working with the Association of American Publishers to lobby governments on the cause that books are an “essential product” in areas where mandatory closings are taking place.
“Our hearts go out to individual booksellers across the country,” said Marwell. “We hope that they are finding the support they need and encourage them to turn to Binc for additional resources.”
Independent bookstores are the center of local communities across the nation, he continued. “We need to do all we can to support this vital part of our civic life in this unprecedented time,” Marwell said. “Bookstores’ relationships with their customers are crucial to how we connect our authors to their readers and provide a much-needed sense of community. We think it’s critical that indies are able to maintain and foster these relationships to their customers as doors are closing and we find ourselves in this very challenging situation.”